Confection Perfection

Submitted into Contest #133 in response to: Set your story in a confectionery shop.... view prompt

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Fiction Friendship Holiday

Confection Perfection

“What can I get you?” I ask. A woman with dark half-circles under her eyes and two toddlers hanging on her legs takes out her wallet and pulls out a 10 dollar bill. “Two lollipops and an iced coffee. Extra espresso.” she groans. She slaps her money on the counter and shouts at her toddlers who are running around the shop. I write the order down on an order slip and slide it into the kitchen. The woman drags her toddlers to the nearest table and starts rubbing her temples. I take the 10 dollar bill and put it into the cash register. Then, I grab 54 cents exactly and grab the card with her order number on it and walk over to her table. “Here is your change and this is your order number.” I say. She gives me a forced half-smile and takes both of the items and shoves them into her purse. Then she goes back to screaming at her toddlers. I walk back to the front desk with a sigh. Now it was my turn to rub my temples. I stayed later than I’d like to admit last night working on my college essay. I started writing about the time I busted my head open when I dived into the pool, but then it just didn’t work out. Then, I started writing about when I broke my arm on the monkey bars, but then I realized: Why am I writing about my injuries? I’m not going to get into college explaining how I am so injury-prone. Even now, I sprained my wrist doing a cartwheel. “Order up!” someone shouts from the kitchen. They put the paper bag with the lollipops, the coffee, and the receipt on the counter. I take a glance at the receipt. “Order 73.” I say. The orders have been crazy today! Today is Valentine’s Day, and everyone is coming to our sweet shop: Confection Perfection, to get sweets for their valentines. The woman drags her toddlers up to the front and grabs the food. “Have a nice day, ma’am.” I tell her. She barely gives me a nod when she strides out of the shop. A moment later, a curly, red-haired lady glides through the double doors and quickly walks towards me. She glances at her watch. “I’m here to pick up an order for Blaire.” she says briskly, tapping her fingers on the counter. Confection Perfection just opened a mobile app where you can make online orders. You can also get coupons every time you use the app. “Ok.” I say. The woman who must be named Blaire started tapping her foot and checked her watch again. I went on the kiosk computer and looked through the online orders. Max, Joy, Kisha, Leo. No Blaire. “What’s your phone number?” I ask. “682-793-4956.” she says impatiently. I searched for the phone number on the search bar. The big, black, bolded letters on the screen send me into panic: ORDER NOT FOUND. “Um…” I stutter. “Is there a problem?” Blaire snaps. “Well,” I say calmly. “It seems we have no order in our system for ‘Blaire’.” “Are you kidding me?!” Blaire exclaims. “I have to meet my boyfriend in less than 15 minutes at The Soup Shop for lunch and I promised him an amazingly sweet Valentine’s Day gift, and I will not be set back by some moody teenager running a sweet shop!” she screams. I’m very taken aback by her hurtful words. I wanted to scream at her: “Hey lady! I’m not just ‘some moody teenager running a sweet shop’! I’m a responsible young woman that has better things to do than argue with some ungrateful snob like you!”, but I decided to take a deep breath and try to reason with her. “Ma’am, is it possible that you thought you placed an order but accidentally didn’t press the “place order” button?” I suggest calmly. “Did I press the button?! What do you think I am, stupid?! Of course, I pressed the button! Maybe you weren’t responsible enough to even carry out my order!” she snarls. Now my blood was very close to boiling. “Ma’am, I’m sorry. We didn’t get an order for Blaire in our system.” I say with a hint of aggravation in my tone. “Now don’t you get smart with me young lady!” she snaps. She narrows her eyes at me. “I know I placed an order, and I’m not leaving until you deliver it.” I just shrug. “I’m sorry.” I say. “Unbelievable! Just unbelievable. This isn’t the first time this has happened with this dump of a shop! The first couple of times I was willing to forgive and order in person, but this is where I draw the line. The fate of giving my boyfriend an amazing Valentine’s Day rests in the hands of a hopeless, irresponsible teenager.” she grumbles. Where did I cross the line?  I think we know exactly which person just crossed a very important line. “Ma’am, this shop isn’t a dump, neither am I a hopeless, irresponsible teenager. I think you made a very innocent mistake of simply forgetting to press the “place order” button. It happens all the time. There is no reason to get upset or insult me and this store.” I tell her. “You can place your order now and still make it in time to meet your boyfriend for lunch.” I suggest. “I’d rather not order from here ever again, thank you.” she says thickly with her eyes pointed in an icy glare. Then she storms out the front entrance of the shop. I get a few pitiful looks from the customers sitting at their tables. I lean against the counter. “You alright? That lady didn’t seem very nice.” Bobby huffed. Bobby is our manager here at Confection Perfection. He looked as if he was about to leave. “Oh, it’s fine Bobby, Thanks for asking.” I say. “And where might you be going?” I ask. “I have to get home to see my daughter and my grandkids. Emily’s pregnant!” he tells me. I force a smile and give him a little golf clap. “Congratulations!” I say. “Grandbaby number 4, exciting!” “Oh, yes it is.” he smiles. “Can I get you anything for the road? I know Emily lives down in Austin.” I ask him. “Oh I’m good Caroline, thank you. I think I might be making a little stop before I head over there…” he looks up and taps his chin. “Bye Caroline.” he says. “Bye Bobby, safe travels.” I say. He walks out of the shop with his coat in his hand. I check my watch: 11:41 pm. My shift ends at 12:00, so I decided I would hold out until then. I only take two more orders until I pull on my coat and head out the door to my car. I decide to listen to some happy songs on the radio on the car ride home to lift my spirits. I definitely wasn’t going to let one ungrateful customer ruin my Valentine’s Day. I park on the curb next to my house on Flowerway Drive. I grab my purse and get out of my car and walk towards the front door of my house. As I get closer, I see a big, pink, heart-shaped box with a bow on top of it. When I get to the porch, I pick up the box and read what it says: Some people are just grumpy on Valentine’s Day. Love, Bobby. I smile and walk inside my house, still smiling and staring at the note and the big chocolate box Bobby bought for me. My mom notices me. “Hey honey, how was work?” It takes me a second to respond. I look up at her. “It was a good mom.”                   

February 16, 2022 01:37

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3 comments

Ava Little
18:01 Apr 14, 2022

Wow! This is so good! You need to post more stories.

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Kate Winchester
01:52 Feb 23, 2022

Welcome to Reedsy! I was drawn in by your title. I love that it’s the name of the shop. This was a cute story. I love your real life inspiration although I’m sorry that happened to you. If you want my two cents, it would help the reader if you made a new line of dialogue every time the speaker changes. Overall, the end was really sweet and I’m glad that Bobby was looking out for Caroline!

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Larrissa Howard
20:49 Feb 16, 2022

Hi you guys! This is my first time writing for Reedsy and entering a contest. For this story, I'd like to thank the mean lady that told off the lady at the front desk at Pizza Hut. I used you for my inspiration! :) I will be writing more so tune in and wait for more stories.

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